Today it was 2 degrees. Seriously. I just got back from a trip to Panama, and it is 2. We may get to 15 today. Anyway, after a HORRIBLE January starting with my precious dad passing suddenly..... I now have to basically begin 2018 over.
My dad always told me I needed to write. He was a writer and would share those writings with me. He saw something similar in me and I totally agree, because I HAVE always been a writer, and a creator. I need to make more of an intentional effort to write everyday. I have a little journal now, so I can write with actual pen when I don't feel like typing. Today, I bring my writing back to Jackson, my faithful furry friend who I love DEARLY and missed a lot during my absence in January.
Now, the squirrels in MN basically hibernate in December and January. They start to appear at the end of January a little more, and in February when the weather starts to get into the teens and 20's more, you will see them frolicking in the snows and chasing each other hoping from branch to branch in the trees.
Jackson and I do not do a lot of walking in the winter. I have a circulation condition that causes my extremities to freeze and it is really uncomfortable, so Jackson's main excitement comes in the mornings on our rides to school to drop of his human siblings. I do need to mention, his sweet doggy sister, Lily isn't invited on these car trips, because if you remember, she has extreme anxiety and fear and car rides are very difficult for both of us.
So, back to Jack. He goes outside for his morning pee. The sun has already started to rise, so it is light out (different from this time of day in the previous 2 months). My husband John, is watching him and all of a sudden in an excited voice says, "oh my gosh, there's a squirrel!". Well, this causes all of us to go running to the window to watch. It is like a first robin sighting in the spring time. The squirrels are back! Jackson goes from "pee" position to alert squirrel hunting position. His ears prick up, his body tenses, his tail is straight behind his sleek brown body. He is ready. But then, his paws freeze. Remember how I said I don't put boots on him? Well, the little pads on his feet are sensitive. Jackson watches while standing in one place as the squirrel runs under a tree and does not come back out. If it were warmer outside, he would run to the fence while whine-howling and tail wagging. However now, he is frozen.
He musters up enough warmth and strength in his body to accomplish what he went out to do, finish his morning bathroom routine. He walks sadly to the side of the house, does his "other" business, and comes back in the house. He seems somber, but there is a glimmer of hope in his eyes, and when we drive the kids to school, he watches out the window alert and ready to see more.
As I sit here and reflect on this story, I think about my restart of 2018 in February. What is it that I want to accomplish, where have MY squirrels been hibernating? Have I seen them appear briefly and had the excitement that my dog has? Well, actually I have. Sharing this opportunity with people is easy, but I don't always find the ease in having them sign on to share it themselves. This is a part of my job and something I should be doing more of. In January, I had a girl who signed on to share the mission. She was my squirrel in January. Disappointment and "business hibernation" followed, but SHE was my squirrel sighting in the cold, and for her I am grateful today.
I know that I need to look out my window with excitement and recognize that any glimmer of hope is sign that things are going to continue to improve and that a positive outlook is necessary to maintain so improvement can happen more naturally and rapidly. Like Jackson, I will NOT give up. Things may not have gone how I have wanted them to go these past 5 weeks, but I have been in the park where there are MANY squirrels and I know, there will be many more in the near future.
Today, I start 2018 again. Today I focus, and today I regain the little bit of lost hope I have been feeling. Today is going to be a GREAT DAY!!!